Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

On 'Democrats in disarray' and other predictable punditry

By E.J. Dionne

You know those "Democrats in Disarray" stories are coming, and so do the party's strategists. So three of them launched a preemptive strike with a memo this morning on The Democratic Strategist Web site hopefully entitled "Democratic Unity After the Elections."

They make a good point right from the start:

In the next several weeks two things are certain to occur:

• Dems will engage in a robust and often bitter debate about the strategic lessons of the elections.
• The mainstream media will build this into a "Dems in disarray" narrative that will have major negative consequences for Democratic morale, mobilization and public image.

The problem is particularly acute this year because Democrats are now facing a Republican Party even more extreme and radicalized than the one that emerged after the mid-term elections of 1994... During this critical period, the "Dems in disarray" narrative and perception will significantly weaken Democrats' ability to resist this assault. As a result, it is urgent that Democrats seriously try to agree upon certain basic understandings about how to maintain the maximum degree of unity and cohesion as a political coalition and community while still engaging in a robust internal debate about the meaning and lessons of the election.

That will be easier said than done, of course, but the memo's authors, Ed Kilgore, James Vega and J. P. Green, offer a wonderful Spark Notes or Cliff Notes (which metaphor you pick depends upon how old you are) summarizing most of the major arguments you will hear in the coming weeks. To wit:

On the central issue of Obama's performance, the vast majority of these analyses will fall into one of the following six categories:

1. Obama is basically doing as well as is realistically possible in the circumstances -- his unpopularity is an inevitable side-effect of his trying to pass controversial legislation in an adverse economic environment.
2. Obama has made substantial mistakes on various issues, but overall he still deserves support.
3. Obama adopted too radical an agenda. He should have embraced more moderate, centrist positions than those he chose.
4. Obama allowed himself to be caricatured as more radical than he and his programs actually are. He needs to substantially revise his rhetoric and behavior.
5. Obama was too cautious and timid in embracing a coherent progressive program. He needed to take a significantly more forceful and indeed radical stance in a number of different areas, the economy in particular.
6. Obama allowed himself to be dragged down into Washington's permanent culture of corruption, a culture that embraces not only the White House but all of Congress and the political system. Democrats cannot achieve meaningful change without fundamentally reforming the entire system.

Whatever their choice among the six views above, analysts will also argue that five other specific issues also profoundly affected the election outcome (1) "structural" factors like the normal, more conservative demographic slant of off-year election voters and the unusual number of Democrats who were running for re-election from basically Republican districts (2) the bad economy (3) the exceptional "inside" view voters had of the "sausage making" for the health Care bill (4) the huge and unprecedented partisan role of Fox and the right-wing media and (5) the massive surge of secret campaign contributions.

So now that the Democratic Strategist three have summarized all the arguments, interested parties -- including the readers of blogs and newspapers -- will now have a standard against which to judge all future commentary. Ask yourself: Does what you are hearing or reading actually add something to any of these standard accounts? Is it original? Or does it merely serve the ideological or factional interests of the person making the argument?

Yes, I will try to hold myself to this standard -- and I will rightly hear from readers when I fail.

By E.J. Dionne  | November 4, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Howard Dean is 'absolutely, categorically not running in 2012'
Next: GOP: Gay Old Party? More gays voted Republican than in 2008

Comments

The Democratic Party went into disarray when it allowed Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists like E.J. Dionne into their "big tent."


Barrack Obama will be the last Democrat President.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | November 4, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This was the FoxPAC election. The GOP won because they have an overwhelming share of the propaganda ratings via Fox and Rush. They were able to mask their strategy -- regain power by obstuctionism and tyranny of the minority in the Senate -- by flooding the airwaves with emotional, fear- and hate-inducing propaganda. The Dems' left Obama to do all the counterpunching, which is an in appropriate role for a sitting President and also ineffectual -- without 24/7 big media any single voice is overwhelmed. The 2012 election cycle will cost $8 billion (the tally for this round was $4 billion)-- to which add on the GOP side the value of their control of the propaganda channels. Unless progress can compete $ for $ and in control of voice, the American future will continue to be, as the Toronto Star put it yesterday, 'great leaps inward'...

Posted by: jbh3 | November 4, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

As a young person I was offered a job working in Munich. The pay was excellent and I thought it would be fun living in Germany. I planned to stay 2 years and wound up staying 25 before I came back to the States to look after elderly parents. Therefore, in my adult life I dealt with the German national health system which I found to be great. I never had a complaint and was always satisfied.

Health care in America is a nightmare. I found dealing with Medicare for my parents a pain in the .... I have found that living in the District that my doctor whose office is in across the river is out of area.

We could have had real health care reform based on the German model or some of the other models that work and we got something that would make Rube Goldberg proud. The Democrats could have passed real health care legislation and instead they played politics Sad.

Posted by: jeffreed | November 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

the dems will now play the victim card...
the sobs will flow...
and then like a scorpion...
they will strike...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists"

as if this uh person knows what any of these words mean.

Obama has governed to the right of Ronald Reagan, and even the most left Democrats believe in free markets and support Israel.

The Democrats' failure has been one of timidity, capitulating to intimidation by Republicans who make things up. Sarah Palin should have been charred to a crisp over a flame of relentless publicity over "death panels," Glenn Beck should have been taken in by the FBI for inciting domestic terrorism, the town hall disrupters should have been frogmarched out to paddy wagons.

The stimulus money should have been twice as much as it was and not a penny for tax cuts.

"Give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican and they'll vote for a Republican every time," and that's exactly what they did. The Democrats need to tack hard to the left and tell the Republicans to go stuff themselves.

Posted by: Cheopys1 | November 4, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

choepiss1 - Because the Democrat Party has already tacked hard to the left, with the current liberal progressive socialist extremist leadership, they lost big in this most recent set of elections. Since the veil of vauge and nondiscript hope and change has been pulled by the liberal progressive socialist extremist actions of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, the American People have rejected the progressive extremist vision of Obama.

A fine example of why the majority of Americans are disgusted with liberal progresive socialists, is when they run for office they claim to be centerists, and moderates. Even the liberal media laudes them as such. cheopiss1 This is because that they can't run on their own platforms, because nobody but their fellow liberal progressives, socialists, and communists support them. I would love to see the election results for a Presidential Candidate from the extreme left that actually runs on their own agenda, and not try to represent themselves as someone more palatable. The fact is they never would be elected, and this fact, and the most recent elections are proof positive that AMERICA rejects liberal progressive socialist radicals.

The Democrat Party needs to rid itself of the Radical Leftists, and a new leadership of moderate, blue dog, and fiscally responsible Democrats need to take over. Now is the perfect time to start. After 2012 it will be even easier.

Cheiopiss1 - Ronald Reagan was the last great American President. We can only hope we have someone of his caliber again in the future.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | November 4, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at how all of us have lost any sense of historical perspective. Here are some things I've been pondering:

1. Incumbents usually lose seats, often significant numbers, in the first midterm elections.
2. We've been protest voting for several cycles.The makeup of the house is nearly exactly what it was the day before the November 2006 election. Maybe we all made too much of Democratic gains as a fundamental change in direction.
3. The Republicans nationalized the house campaigns with amazing amounts of outside funding, but there were only local elections. "The American People" made it clear that they favored Republicans, but many of these gains were the reversal of 06 and 08 house seats in McCain districts.
4. Turnout was down among all factions because this was a midterm. This always happens. It doesn't reflect dissatisfaction with party leadership or direction, just that folks don't vote when it's not a presidential year.
5. In midterm elections, when fewer people vote, the extremes win out. That's why Blue Dogs did badly Tuesday and why Tea Party backed candidates did well. That may not be the same in a general election.

Maybe before all the ink is spilled on "Democrats in Disarray" columns we could all take a deep breath. Here's another idea: why not take all the "Republicans in Disarray" from two years ago and just change the titles?

Posted by: jwhawthorne | November 4, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I have been surprised that as people list Obama's many mistakes in his first 2 years as President, his poor handling of the gulf oil spill is rarely mentioned.

I wonder why?

Is it that his other failures are deemed to be larger than his failure in handling the gulf oil spill or have people simply forgotten how inept his handling of the oil spill made him seem?

I find this very curious.

Hopefully Obama has a better last 2 years. The country is really in need of some leadership.

Posted by: RandyM1 | November 4, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I have been surprised that as people list Obama's many mistakes in his first 2 years as President, his poor handling of the gulf oil spill is rarely mentioned.

I wonder why?

Is it that his other failures are deemed to be larger than his failure in handling the gulf oil spill or have people simply forgotten how inept his handling of the oil spill made him seem?

I find this very curious.

Hopefully Obama has a better last 2 years. The country is really in need of some leadership.

Posted by: RandyM1 | November 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

FormerDemocrat wrote:
The Democratic Party went into disarray when it allowed Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists like E.J. Dionne into their "big tent."

Barrack Obama will be the last Democrat President.

------------------------------------------

Please don't go away teabaggers. This type of rant is truly hilarious!

Posted by: rgray | November 4, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Two years ago, Dionne... you said the republicans were in complete disarray. After losing 30 seats in 2008 plus the presidency, the GOP was labeled as out of touch, on the endangered species list (cover Time Mag), and would be wandering in the wilderness for 40 years (per James Carville).
note that elephants never forget...

Well it appears that 40 year prediction was about 38 too many. not only do we get back the seats we lost last year, but doubled it, and could be at a +69 total seat gain in both houses which is the largest turnover since, ready for this, The Great Depression.

Posted by: alutz08 | November 4, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Dems will be fine and Obama will win in 2012. The republicans were elected because they were hoodwinked into being angry. Anger doesn't produce policy, it produces sound bites. Even mouth breathing republicans will realize that the morons that tricked them into voting for them aren't going to Washington to fix anything. They're going to make money by keeping them angry. They have no intention to repeall healthcare but they'll generate enough anger to make people on the right think they are.

Posted by: tank1906 | November 4, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

We face a House of Representatives dominated by a party that has proclaimed its intention to roll back regulations that protect the American people from future financial crises, to escalate income inequality, to undermine the rights of victims of corporate greed, to expand job-offshoring trade deals, to return to a profiteering have and have not healthcare system, and to clutch desperately to outmoded and unsustainable energy structures.

We face a Wild West campaign finance system that has rocked our democracy to its foundations. An unprecedented $4 billion was spent on these elections—huge chunks of it by shadowy corporate front groups, and most of it with no disclosure of the true source.

I think the only Republican policy the Democrats should adopt is to just say no, and let Republicans reap what they have sown-that's my analysis!

Posted by: sunrise2 | November 4, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party went into disarray when it allowed Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists like E.J. Dionne into their "big tent."


Barrack Obama will be the last Democrat President.

Really?!

This is why Democrats will be painted as in disarray -

A short time capsule of the last 1/2 century of elections

1968 - The Democrats with the help of Mayor Daley, slit their throats at the convention in Chicago, Richard Nixon ran an impeccable campaign, appealing to America's silent majority.

1972 - No one who voted for Richard Nixon was ever going to vote for George McGovern

1976 - Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon

1980 - Iran Hostage crisis, plus Ronald Reagan filled a leadership void

1984 - See 1972

1988 - Michael Dukakis? Really?

1992 - Bush Senior, told us to read his lips; we didn't like what we heard, plus Ross Perot

1996 - 1992 Redux; plus it was it was Bob Dole's turn to run for president

2000 - Pretty much a tie, as the two candidates were perceived as a middle of the road Democrat and middle of the road Republican

2004 - 9/11 plus John Kerry ran a ridculous campaign -

2008 - Bush hangover;lousy McCain campaign great Obama campaign

you can see that all of these elections had some overriding theme - or personality driven development

2010 - We who consider ourselves Democrats have NO IDEA WHAT YOU PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT! What you are angry about makes no sense to a lot of us! Government spending; PLEASE - the government has been a budget sinkhole no matter WHO is running the country since at least 1964. A DEMOCRAT - President Clinton is the only president who has taken realistic steps to control the federal budget. If I understand you folks, 15 minutes after President Obama was sworn in, he went on some huge government spending binge that immediately destroyed our country.

On the day of the first Tea Party rally in Houston, it was my payday. I walked by the rally, with about $10 extra in my pocket, because President Obama had cut the payroll tax for middle and low income workers. And I saw people holding up signs complaining about hgh taxes when 95% had just had their taxes CUT!? I realize that you've been told for years just how evil Democrats are, but if you're going to complain about something, at least be accurate.

Socialism? Really? I didn't think Americans listened to people on TV without checking out things on their own - apparently I was wrong.

What's really good, to me, at least, about the "Tea Party" is that I'm totally baffled about how people really believe that in 2 years a president can fundamentally change a country. You think America is that weak? You're wrong.

But what's good, is I realize that even with all of the bucket heads that ran and won as "Tea Party" candidates, that our country is not so weak that it won't survive this current temper tantrum as well.

So, please remember - Tea Parties are for little girls

2010

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 4, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but what about the responsibility of the voters?

The Reagan "revolution" was nothing more than the rich learning how to make government work for them - at the expense of the rest of us. And we've let them do it for 30 years now.

We have far more votes than the wealthy 2-percenters, but we continue to let them distract us with guns and abortion and gays and the "global warming is a hoax" crap, and they keep winning - and laughing at us.

I used to be frustrated, but now all I can say is, if we are so easily hoodwinked, we deserve to be the peons of the rich.

Don't look for the two political parties to save us, both are in the pockets of special interests. We must rebel against the present system even if it means taking to the streets. Or we can pop another Bud and be content with watching our kids become butlers, maids, gardeners or sweat-shop workers making sneakers for the Chinese.

Posted by: Trakker | November 4, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Message to the loser, having a sound fiscal policy is neither extreme or radical.

It's time for Washington to show the same fiscal conservatism that any wise family or business tries to follow.

Common sense and integrity are returning to the House.

Posted by: hokie92 | November 4, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"America Votes for "GRIDLOCK."

Way to go America, now you won't get any help from your government, now you won't get any help from the only help you had, and Karl Rove/Republicans, Oil Companies, Drug Companies, Insurance Companies, "APPRECIATE IT!

"Gridlock will rule the day, as you struggle to make it day to day, you say Government doing to much so you "VOted Democrats and only help you got "OUT, now lets see how much help you get from the "PARTY/NO!

..."APPRECIATE IT...fools, voted for the wrong party, wrong people, now you won't get any help in the worse Republican/recession since the "Great Depression, and this registered Voter/Vet USAF, glad, glad, glad..."APPRECIATE IT, so does Karl ROve, Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Drug COmpanies, and of course, Republicans...."APPRECIATE IT...

Posted by: ztcb41 | November 4, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The Dems, and specifically the president, must decide whether to do the right thing for the middle class and working poor - or please the corporations and billionaires who (thanks to the supreme court) now control the flow of campaign money. There are plenty of actions the president can take - independent of congress - to better the lives of the American people. Should he press ahead, or "play ball" with big money - in the hope that some of that big money will support his reelection? I suppose this question does put the Dems in "disarray".

Posted by: Jihm | November 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Republicans control the House, let's see if they can actually manage to govern.

Posted by: apn3206 | November 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Will the Republic Party now repeal their socialistic Medicare C and D schemes, which directly transfer government money to private insurers and drug companies, driving up the cost to the taxpayers?

Will the Republic Party repeal the annual total of $62 billion in socialistic subsidies to business by the government?

Will the Republic Party repeal their massive spy program put in under Dumya that costs us hundreds of billions in direct government transfers to private businesses?

Will the Republic Party repeal their Dumya-era no-bid contracts to their favorite corporate pals to supply GIs in Iraq with tainted water and food?

Will the Republic Party repeal the massive government transfers to agribusiness?

All of the socialistic programs cost hundreds of billions, which we borrow from China. Republic Party? Hello?

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | November 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think so. The results are a logical outcome.

The majority of Americans sat on their hands for eight years while George Bush and his merry band of Republican men brought us to the brink of disaster by cutting taxes and waging war at the same time.

As the economy sank and jobs evaporated, Americans grew outraged and threw the bums out.

Two years later, with disaster averted but a still-struggling economy, Americans were outraged that Obama and Democrats spent more time providing health care for the disadvantaged than getting blue collar workers their jobs back.

So they threw the bums out again, and brought back the original bums, who bring with them the same ideas that got us into this mess in the first place. Lower taxes. Deregulate. Wage war. Create jobs by giving to the rich so that their economic table scraps can trickle down to the little people.

What's illogical about that?

Two years from now, when Republicans have managed to makes things worse again, American will once again develop brain free and bring the Democrats back.

Or they might turn to Sarah Palin and other members of her far right Republican coven for a magic solution. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? Hitler was a bad guy, but he did find jobs for Germany's unemployed blue collar workers. And they got to travel!


Posted by: allknowing10 | November 4, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

alutz08 makes the point that this was the largest turnover since the great depression.

OK, but let's take a look at what made the great depression great - it was the fact that the stimulus effort of the time was truncated by the opposition's worries about the size of government and government debt, and the opposition forced the rescinding of that effort. The depression then lasted for many years until - "ready for this" - government spending in the form of world war 2 brought us out of it. Following the war, we entered a period of world dominance and enormous prosperity because we (through our government) invested in top quality education via the GI Bill.

Of course, the great depression was itself caused by the reckless shenanigans of the financial sector.

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

Guess what?

Isn't this worthy of consideration?

Posted by: AMac1 | November 4, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

alutz08 makes the point that this was the largest turnover since the great depression.

OK, but let's take a look at what made the great depression great - it was the fact that the stimulus effort of the time was truncated by the opposition's worries about the size of government and government debt, and the opposition forced the rescinding of that effort. The depression then lasted for many years until - "ready for this" - government spending in the form of world war 2 brought us out of it. Following the war, we entered a period of world dominance and enormous prosperity because we (through our government) invested in top quality education via the GI Bill.

Of course, the great depression was itself caused by the reckless shenanigans of the financial sector.

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."

Guess what?

Isn't this worthy of consideration?

Posted by: AMac1 | November 4, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

We will soon be coming to market with a new product: The Political Survival Kit - which will include a box of 5 "Fox News Celebrity Condoms - Protection when you have to sleep with idiots."

Think Christmas.

Posted by: pablomango | November 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I have yet to hear the media say, "we are sorry" Sorry in many ways...for lying to the American People, and Mr. Obama. I wonder why most of you posters are not upset at the media. They made you think that all was well, and didn't challenge Mr. Obama on the issues that were unpopular to the American People. Why was he not made aware that his policies were unpopular, why was he not challenged on what he was doing? You don't march a whole country into an abyss like a pied piper! you push, you ask, you question. You did when Bush was in office, you dropped your standards now. Now when the people needed you to help keep the balance as was your duty you slept and are still sleeping only because what you heard was what you wanted to hear. You heard the song of the Mermaid and fell in love...too bad for the liberals too bad for the communists too bad for you you were caught in a big case of dereliction of duty.
In this case the "we the people" won. so "Thank you!"

Posted by: minuramsey | November 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Dems won't be in disarray.

Now that all the Dem conservatives and moderates are gone, Dems are cut back to their left wing core. So, now they'll
do what comes naturally to Dems.

Take NY and California for example, which proudly exempted themselves from the Republican tide across the rest of the country and elected Dem governors and Senators.

During the next two years, both California and NY will go bankrupt. In these, the bluest of the blue states, Dem constituency groups will be rioting and strikiing like the Greeks and the French. Government services will be shut down business will be interrupted. Congrats to the new Dem governors!

Why was a nice woman like Megg Whitman trying to get herself into that mess? She should buy Guv Moonbeam Brown a nice present for saving her. How about Rhode island?

California and NY would have slipped off the cliff into chaos during the past two years, except Obama and Nancy loaded hundreds of billions into false "stimulus" bills to support state governments instead of stimulating the private sector economy. Dems didn't want these states to fall into chaos before the 2010 elections. They didn't want everyone to see the natural results of Dem policies, which forecast what will occcur at the national level if we don't stop the spending. For years, we've been overspending so that people won't understand the damage done past overspending.

One of the biggest results of the 2010 election is that you can forget about further bailouts now of bankrupt Dem states. Everyone will see the results of Dems governing Dems without any real organized conservative voters to intercede.
Cut the money and its like cutting off a hereoin addict. It's not going to be pretty, but it's the first difficult step to regaining control of your life. Tough love from House Republicans are necessary to help NY and California save themselves.

Do not be fooled into thinking what will be happening in NY and California reflects disarray among Dems. It will just be Dems doing what Dems do.

Disarray? Definetely not! It will only seem that way to normal people.

Posted by: jfv123 | November 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

But you always fail, EJ.

Really, it's not even fun to point it out anymore. It's like little kids making fun of the special needs kid in the playground. It's just plain cruel.

You'll lead a much happier, though deluded, life if we don't call you out all of your failures.

Poor guy.

Posted by: etpietro | November 4, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Of the six items listed above, I'll accept #5 & #6, but change the ending of #6 to "Democrats cannot achieve meaningful change without fundamentally reforming the members of their party, particularly in the U.S. Senate."

Posted by: dc1020008 | November 4, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

From reading the many comments, I feel that America's biggest probelm is education. With Fox et al., people do not know the facts, and Americans condone ignorace. They simply do not knwo what is good for themselves... but they do know what's good for Fox and big corporations. But the two go hand in hand, right?

And do these pundits know what truly defines "socialism" or "communism?" North Korea? Cuba? WRONG! Oppression does not equal socialism. Moreover, with the lack of spending in the private sector, the government had to do something to halt this country from entering an even bigger depression. Our government is a million miles from being socialist empire. Its laughable. But again, uneducated Americans will be the downfall of this country--which, sadly, has already started to happen.

Posted by: dufficym | November 4, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

From reading the many comments, I feel that America's biggest probelm is education. With Fox et al., people do not know the facts, and Americans condone ignorace. They simply do not knwo what is good for themselves... but they do know what's good for Fox and big corporations. But the two go hand in hand, right?

And do these pundits know what truly defines "socialism" or "communism?" North Korea? Cuba? WRONG! Oppression does not equal socialism. Moreover, with the lack of spending in the private sector, the government had to do something to halt this country from entering an even bigger depression. Our government is a million miles from being socialist empire. Its laughable. But again, uneducated Americans will be the downfall of this country--which, sadly, has already started to happen.

Posted by: dufficym | November 4, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

From reading the many comments, I feel that America's biggest probelm is education. With Fox et al., people do not know the facts, and Americans condone ignorace. They simply do not knwo what is good for themselves... but they do know what's good for Fox and big corporations. But the two go hand in hand, right?

And do these pundits know what truly defines "socialism" or "communism?" North Korea? Cuba? WRONG! Oppression does not equal socialism. Moreover, with the lack of spending in the private sector, the government had to do something to halt this country from entering an even bigger depression. Our government is a million miles from being socialist empire. Its laughable. But again, uneducated Americans will be the downfall of this country--which, sadly, has already started to happen.

Posted by: dufficym | November 4, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Cheopsys wrote:

"Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists"

as if this uh person knows what any of these words mean.

Obama has governed to the right of Ronald Reagan, and even the most left Democrats believe in free markets and support Israel.

The Democrats' failure has been one of timidity, capitulating to intimidation by Republicans who make things up. Sarah Palin should have been charred to a crisp over a flame of relentless publicity over "death panels," Glenn Beck should have been taken in by the FBI for inciting domestic terrorism, the town hall disrupters should have been frogmarched out to paddy wagons.

The stimulus money should have been twice as much as it was and not a penny for tax cuts.

"Give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican and they'll vote for a Republican every time," and that's exactly what they did. The Democrats need to tack hard to the left and tell the Republicans to go stuff themselves.

_________________________________________

I completely agree.

Posted by: dc1020008 | November 4, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

New York - Fox News Channel more than doubled the audience it had for the 2006 midterm election.

The Nielsen Co. said Wednesday that just under 7 million people watched Fox’s election coverage Tuesday night, a rough night for President Barack Obama. In 2006, which was a rough night for President George W. Bush, the network had 3.1 million viewers.
CNN had 2.4 million viewers on Tuesday night, while MSNBC had 1.9 million.

Posted by: corebanks1940 | November 4, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Disarray..???

Obama will face Primary Opponents in 2012

Obama, over the next two years, will elect a GOP President and finish moving the Senate to the GOP....and finish fracturing the democrat coalition.

Progress has left "Progressives" behind....their ideology is stuck in the late 19th century.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | November 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

We can talk about Fox and Limbough all we want to. The so called liberal media was also not very friendly to Obama. They constantly talked about his lack of popularity when the polling results were ambiguous at best. Very little mention was made over the role of his economic measures played in averting a depression. While he was accused by the right of being a tax and spend liberal who would ruin small businesses there was little mention of his plans to lower taxes on small businesses. Little mention was made of the fact that much of the opposition to his health care proposals came from those who felt that they didn't go far enough. Or that most Americans favored the individual components of the of his health reform package even though most were opposed when presented in its entirely which can be attributed to the right wing propaganda machine. The public option was also supported by most Americans but was left out to appease his right wing opponents. Clearly the media was more interested in reporting on the tea party than anything Obama did.

Posted by: browneri | November 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

No Quid Pro Quo.

To say Democrats are "just in disarray", is like saying "hekuva job" Democrats in Bush-Speak.

The Repugnikans went nuclear attacking Clinton for having a cute "girlfriend". They then attacked the whole world, perpetrating all sort of atrocities and crimes against humanity, and destroyed the world economic system causing the "Big Bush Depression" during Bush.

The US population said "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH". We elected a Democratic President and gave Democratic control of Congress to both the Senate and the House.

Result: There was no quid pro quo against Bush in retaliation for the vicious Clinton attacks. There were no war crimes investigations for eight years of war crimes and other illegal activities perpetrated by the US Government against the world.

No, the Democrats instead gave the Repugnikans a big kiss on the lips with tongue and said "we love you guys".

The saga continues.

This election said "hekuva job" Democrats.

Posted by: MrZ2 | November 4, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Or does it merely serve the ideological or factional interests of the person making the argument?"

Dionne's arguments always seem to be in this category.

Posted by: postfan1 | November 4, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Some standard you have picked EJ. You forgot #7 This was George W Bush's fault. We inherited this from him.

Problem is that this standard does not even consider the possibility that Obama's agenda was not acceptable to the majority of Americans and that he let Pelosi and Reid be the face of his legislative agenda. That is poor leadership. But what else could he do because he was and still is completely lacking in leadership skills or experience.

Posted by: delusional1 | November 4, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Blame Fox News - Blame Rush - Blame Republicans - Blame the Voters - Blame everybody except for those of us who did not like the direction of the country and voted against people who supported the way the country was going the past two years. The liberals need to take a look at Congress which has been controlled by Democrats for the past 4 years plus complete control including the President for the past 2 years and ask what went wrong. Once you are able to answer that question, the next question is why do you blindly support policies that damage both the economy and country. I find it rather childish for someone to state that they had an extra $10.00 in their pocket when they walked by a tea party rally due to Obama. Just way until you file your taxes for 2010 and see where that $10.00 went.

Posted by: sales7 | November 4, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, E.J. The memo that you quote is a good summary, and I will use it in evaluating what I read.

Posted by: AdrianMole | November 4, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Those "Democrats in Disarray" stories are really filling the pages in newspapers and airing on all the news stations in the left-wing MSM media -aye EJ?

Man-up EJ and admit you're on the side of extremists and the radicalize leftist propaganda MSM machine, like most OP-ED writers at the WaPo. BTW, can you point to all the "Democrats in Disarray" stories published in the MSM?

That's a foolish question on my part because if you did attempt to answer it, I'm sure you will point your finger at FOX, O'Reilly, Beck, Hannity and of course "Talk Radio" like Rush - how pathetic.

Posted by: Conservator | November 4, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party went into disarray when it allowed Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists like E.J. Dionne into their "big tent."


Barrack Obama will be the last Democrat President.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat

__________________________________

You are hilarious!!!!!!!!

The republican party was just taken over by the John Birch Society and this is what you have to say?

We are enriched by your departure. Here is to hoping you remain a republican the rest of your life!!

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse


E.J. Dionne, queen of the leftists, still pimpin' for Barry the incompetent boob Obama, as he has been since Day One.

Only a leftist hack like Dionne thinks the majority of voters are extreme or radicalized. It is Dionne the leftist hack who is the marginalized radical.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 4, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Two years ago two of my favorite things in life were tea and parties. Now I hate them both. I'm just really glad they didn't call themselves Beer-TV Watchers...

Posted by: authorofpoetry | November 4, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

#7. The american people figured out Obama is the most unqualified individual in 80 years to occupy the presidency. What a total lightweight loser we elected.

Posted by: jjlj | November 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama has governed to the right of Ronald Reagan, and even the most left Democrats believe in free markets and support Israel.

The Democrats' failure has been one of timidity, capitulating to intimidation by Republicans who make things up. Sarah Palin should have been charred to a crisp over a flame of relentless publicity over "death panels," Glenn Beck should have been taken in by the FBI for inciting domestic terrorism, the town hall disrupters should have been frogmarched out to paddy wagons.

The stimulus money should have been twice as much as it was and not a penny for tax cuts.

"Give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican and they'll vote for a Republican every time," and that's exactly what they did. The Democrats need to tack hard to the left and tell the Republicans to go stuff themselves.

Posted by: Cheopys1
__________________________________


I disagree that President Obama governed from the "right of Reagan." In the first place, he did not send bin laden stinger missiles or a cake to Iran.

I thought he was very centrist. President Obama is, after all, a moderate. Just because McCain called him a liberal does not make him one.

I also disagree that Democrats are trying to ape the republicans. I get very frustrated with this "there is no difference" BS and to hear it from a fellow Democrat only makes it worse.

There are huge differences. We do not see people as throw away units, for instance.

I agree, however, that the Democrats were far too timid.

I think that a lot more could have been done to defend the difficult votes that they took on tough issues. I think they ran NOT to lose instead of to win.

What the party needs to do over the next 2 years is carefully expose the republican inconsistencies. You cannot be a "grass roots" or a "people's" movement if you are funded primarily by corporations the ultra rich, as they are.

The party also needs to carefully explain how republicans have historically opposed and continue to oppose ALL of the benefits people take for granted - the Minimum Wage, the 40 hour work week, weekends, paid vacations, Medicare, retirement benefits, etc - that we fought hard to get and keep.

Meanwhile, we are a moderate nation and the Democrats need to move to claim the middle.

We do not need to move left as much as we need to make the republicans paint themselves into their right wing corner.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I predict that President Obama will finally grow a pair and quit fighting with the Queen of Marbury Rules when being meet with guerilla warfare tactics like the Republicans employed. If they obstruct again, they are now responsible for getting things done. It will be their fault as well as Obama's. Their radical elements have already said they refuse to compromise. Well...ok. So Obama might be a one term President but he will be the DANG BEST ONE TERM PROGRESSIVE PRESIDENT THE WORLD HAS EVER SCENE. That is if he finds a pair, tells these horses a$$es that currently HE IS THE PRESIDENT and if they won't cooperate he will do what he needs too without them, which we elected him to do. He was not elected to get re-elected although that would be nice, he was elected to get stuff done. He has started and it was good and it can be better. So go have a good time voting him out. Obama needs to understand that the Blue Dogs that vexed him were out on their ears because they obstructed Obama as well...and the ones left standing were the LEFTIE Progressives. So be a proud LIBERAL Progressive and kick some "Republicorp rear."

Posted by: jacquie1 | November 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I predict that President Obama will finally grow a pair and quit fighting with the Queen of Marbury Rules when being meet with guerilla warfare tactics like the Republicans employed. If they obstruct again, they are now responsible for getting things done. It will be their fault as well as Obama's. Their radical elements have already said they refuse to compromise. Well...ok. So Obama might be a one term President but he will be the DANG BEST ONE TERM PROGRESSIVE PRESIDENT THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN. That is if he finds a pair, tells these horses a$$es that currently HE IS THE PRESIDENT and if they won't cooperate he will do what he needs too without them, which we elected him to do. He was not elected to get re-elected although that would be nice, he was elected to get stuff done. He has started and it was good and it can be better. So go have a good time voting him out. Obama needs to understand that the Blue Dogs that vexed him were out on their ears because they obstructed Obama as well...and the ones left standing were the LEFTIE Progressives. So be a proud LIBERAL Progressive and kick some "Republicorp rear."

Posted by: jacquie1 | November 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

DemoRats will not be a viable party. Too leftist. They sold out to the progressives who will never go anywhere. Young Latinos don't want to be like blacks so they are joining the Republicans in droves.

Posted by: Phil5 | November 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

After 2012 the far left will be where they belong: in the forgotten minority.

Posted by: Smarg | November 4, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

My own position is primarily 1, and secondarily 4, which is that he did a good job in a hostile environment. He spent his political capital on health care, financial reform, and stabilizing and jump starting the economy. He did let the GOP characterize him as a person of the left, while he actually governed as a centerest with some ideas from the right.

Options 3 and 6, are simply part of the GOP disinformation campaign, that would only accept his ideas if he were a Republican.

Option 2 is just silly, because he used his capital on some important big things, and even if nothing legislative happens in the next two years, which is probably what the future holds, he will have had an unusually productive presidency.

Option 5 is some silliness that is practiced by a small number of people on the left, given publicity by people on the right.

Posted by: bill30 | November 4, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The nutty comments, and name calling, from the right, on this thread, show how bereft of understanding, and full of anger, the nuts are.

Posted by: bill30 | November 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Phil5 - I never thought you had trouble reading, but that must be the case.

Latinos - young and old - have a decidedly lower than the rest of America opinion of republicans. White America has a 73% UNfavorability rating of republicans. Latinos disfavor you by 84%. (PS - Democrats might not be seen as much better, but they are still viewed in a better light across the board!!!!!!!!)

Also, Democrats actually registered MORE people, Latinos included, leading up to the election. They just couldn't get them out to vote.

Presidential elections usually bring out the young and minorities, so we will see what happens in 2 years.

Meanwhile, the republican party was just taken over by the John Birch Society!!!!

I would think you would have too much going on in your own house to worry about the Democratic house.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

How about this one:

7. Obama is in above his head!

Posted by: Three3 | November 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope you loons on the left keep it up so you will never regain power again in my life time. Socialism is dead in American along with unionism. Now maybe I can find a job.

Posted by: DCalle10411111 | November 4, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are doomed, because they cater to the fringe of American society, as well as to America's enemies.

Posted by: hared | November 4, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

An argument could be made that the Democrats entire problem stems from their inability to make the stimulus big enough at the outset to dent unemployment. And with the 9.5% unemployment rate the only hard fact we have, Republicans were free to invent any make-believe narrative they wanted on why more jobs were not being created -- including the idiocy that the stimulus itself was to blame for the lack of jobs.

In place of actual policy, Republicans have invented this fairy tale that private investors and small businesses are sitting on the sidelines eager to jump in and pump money into the economy if only the government would cut taxes and get out of the way. But this bit of nonsense doesn't add up any more than the GOP's non-existant budget numbers or the programs they refuse to name when asked what they would cut in order to reduce the deficit and balance the budget.

It's all smoke and mirrors designed for the single purpose of giving their rich benefactors payback for all those campaign contributions and stealth commercials, which I think we are about to learn sooner rather than later.

Posted by: TedFrier | November 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the title be "Are the Democrats Left Standing In Disarray?" Thanks to the Genuis of The Genuis In Chief there seems to be quite a few less Democrats left to be disarrayed, aren't there? But he's so much smarter than Palin isn't he.
Love the Fox News rant and their unprecedented Right Wing Cheering.
If you The Ones' We've Been Waiting For would spend less of your time viewing Fox and more of your time viewing PMSNBC and PMSNBCLite(CNN for the liberally challenged mind) you would get all the Left Wing Unhinged Rants about hating all Republicans,hoping all Republicans and their grandchildren could get Aids and a continual rant against Fox News since they too are among the millions watching Fox News I guess. Also for the Liberally Challenged Mind PMSNBC and PMSNBClite's ratings might actually go up since it's largely been an audience of Olbermann and Matthews immediate family members(when they're not actually watching the evil Fox News also).
The other laughable note of EJ and the great Dim's "journalists" is that "outside sources of money" sunk the Dims. What a hoot and what hypocripsy. Speaking of outside money though, as a taxpayer I hope the one thing the Republicans do get stopped is PUBLIC unions taking automatic dues reductions from their members and putting it solely into DIM coffers. As evidenced by the latest election result not all taxpayers support the DIMS. If an individual wants to write his own check to support the DIMS more power to him, but to take automatic deductions, funded by the taxpayers should be as illegal as illegal aliens.
Hey sportsfans, your loses were not attributed to:Fox News,the Chamber of Commerce,Rush,Hannity,Beck,Palin,Bush,Boehner,TheTeaParty,etc. No those people collectively and collarbaratively could not accomplish the unaccomplishable.
The Great Dim Beatdown was made possible to one man and one man only: "The One" with an enormous not so honorable mention to Pelosi and Reid. Only in Liberal Wonderland.

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | November 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

republicons walk in lock step because they are basically stuck in adolescent "concrete operational" authoritarian cognitive levels. Abstract thought, even basic logic, eludes most of them. they are more than willing to do and say whatever "daddy" says, whther it be fux the news talking heads or party leaders. It is why they are able to stay on message, no matter how venal and fundamentally flawed the message may be. They are unable to grasp basic fallacies, contradictions and such, and so they just repeat what they are told to think.

Democrats are adults in their thinking. Sure they sometimes act a littl childish, but it is an abstract, independenat liberated, free and liberty loving way of looking at the world. That is why Democrtas, although they almost always have better ideas, and are willing to study problems to find common sense solutions that work, are not always so good at nmarching like the local high school marching band in lock step without questioning why. Democrats are more like a herd of cats. Looking for the best way to catch a mouse, and not so mindful of what any master" might want tem to do. Whereas republicons are far more like a blindly charging herd of spooked wildebeasts. No idea of why they are going where they are going except the leader is going that way so they are too.

Posted by: John1263 | November 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

You forgot one,

7. Obama is an incompetent, inexperienced, and arrogant ideologue whose full bore, voter-be-damned approach to implementing lefty ideas resulted in wasteful and ineffective programs that exacerbated the recession and put this nation on the verge of fiscal collapse. Rather than realize the lesson that socialism is a colossal failure both here in America, and elsewhere throughout history, he continues to stubbornly cling to failed ideas.

EJ, the cure for this is for the Federal government to get out of the charity business. There is no end to the need, and the underlying notion of able bodied adults living in a state of dependence upon the entitlement state is unsustainable. Our politicians must rise above and wean the populace of their entitlements, and insist we return to an era of personal responsibility and economic independence.

I fully anticipate lefties like you, and the particularly unadaptive ones clinging to Obama's view in Congress will oppose every single responsible measure set forth by the Republican controlled house, to their electoral demise in 2012. Some smart ones get it and do things like shoot at Cap and Trade bills. But there are those who have to learn the hard way...

Posted by: Wiggan | November 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

If you DIMS ever do figure out "What the meaning of IS,IS," I've got another mind-bender you might want to go to work on:

If the country is so clamoring for the Liberal/Progressive Agenda and it's only failure, as The One likes to whine,has been "A Failure to Communicate", all the while bashing Rush and Fox News, why in Heaven's (sorry Libby/Dimmys didn't mean to scare you there) name hasn't:

Air America been a rousing success and
PMSNBC and PMSNBCLite(CNN) have TV ratings that would put Fox's rating lower than a Foxhole?

AS both entities mentioned seem to either be in total bankruptcy and the other gets ratings below The Kardashians it seems to me that there is a complete disconnect in Liberally "Disarrayed" Wonderland isn't there? Could it possibly be that the country DOESN'T want a Liberal/Progressive agenda. You Betcha!!!!

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | November 4, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Girl, what do you think? This is real, girl! You'd better get used to it, girl!

Posted by: georges2 | November 4, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

""Communists, Progressives, Socialists and otherwise Marxists"

as if this uh person knows what any of these words mean.

Obama has governed to the right of Ronald Reagan, and even the most left Democrats believe in free markets and support Israel."

Is that you E.J. Dionne Jr.? Claiming uber-leftist-liberal governed to the right of Ronald Reagan? LOL

What we have here is another uber-leftist-Communist-Progressive-Socialist-Marxist trying to play a mind game. Well Marxist, we have an education too and know you and your boss Obama are political frauds. In two years, your leftism will be repudiated for good.


If you want your Marxism, go to either Cuba or North Korea where your "in the trash bin of history" Marxism is practiced in its full glory!

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | November 4, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Will the Republic Party now repeal their socialistic Medicare C and D schemes, which directly transfer government money to private insurers and drug companies, driving up the cost to the taxpayers?

Will the Republic Party repeal the annual total of $62 billion in socialistic subsidies to business by the government?

Will the Republic Party repeal their massive spy program put in under Dumya that costs us hundreds of billions in direct government transfers to private businesses?

Will the Republic Party repeal their Dumya-era no-bid contracts to their favorite corporate pals to supply GIs in Iraq with tainted water and food?

Will the Republic Party repeal the massive government transfers to agribusiness?

All of the socialistic programs cost hundreds of billions, which we borrow from China. Republic Party? Hello?

Posted by: mongolovesheriff
*************************************
This deserves to be posted twice because it is brilliant. I especially like the "Republic" party.

Wasn't it Russia that became a corporate state? Let the wealth of the nation become more and more concentrated in the few, and get ready for our own Glasnost.

Posted by: daubry | November 4, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

FormerDemocrat - I feel sorry for you, buddy. You have some serious issues that I hope you find the strength to work your way through.

Being how you are obviously a card carrying John Bircher, you must have been a Democrat when Thurmond and Helms were and probably changed stripes in 1964 with them.

Otherwise you are a liar and never were a Democrat. Even an average Dem would never salute brother John Birch. You, on the other hand, are clearly a true believer.

So, hey, you know we are everywhere! Uber-leftist-Communist-Progressive-Socialist-Marxists, I mean.

We have even infiltrated the tea party!

You think Rand Paul's Aqua Buddha was just a stage he went through? Aqua Buddha is our code for Mao!!!! Yes, Rand Paul is a secret Maoist

McCain, as we all know, was born in Latin America. He is an Uber-leftist-Communist-Progressive-Socialist-Liberation Theology-Marxist.

Better watch out! We are even under your bed....

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

DemoRats will not be a viable party. Too leftist. They sold out to the progressives who will never go anywhere. Young Latinos don't want to be like blacks so they are joining the Republicans in droves.

Posted by: Phil5 |

*********************************************
Yep, two out of five (that's 40% for those who reject elite learnin')Latinos are joining the Republic party in droves, as compared to the three out of five (60%) that are just trickling into the Democratic party.

Posted by: daubry | November 4, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The American electorate are not sophisticated enough to know (or care about ) the actual issues , the Republican supporters ( including the posters here ) just automatically believe and parrot what they hear from Beck , Hannity ,Limbaugh and the like , they love to use all of the "ism" words but they don't they have any clue as to their actual meaning . The propagandizing and brainwashing has worked on these idiots big time . What has happened in these elections is simple to explain , the country is still in bad shape , people are still hurting , the rocket scientists in this country ignored the fact that the Republicans all but destroyed this country and created this mess in the first place and they ignored the fact that all the Republicans have done since then is to sabotage , obstruct and undermine , half of the Senate and Congress literally sabotaging itself , trying to prevent any kind of recovery simply because that would make Obama look good and give him political capital . The neoconservatives / Republicans are putting their politics and their agenda ahead of the country and ahead of we the people , and is it any surprise ? Hell no it's no surprise , do you actually think they give one damn about this country or we the people ? They care about the ultra rich , Wall Street , International corporations and the US Chamber of Commerce , the ones who own them , the ones they work for and represent who by the way do not need or care about this country anymore . Their markets , their labor force , their profits made are all over seas , not here in the USA ! Well , it worked , their tactics worked , sure as hell the mental midgets in this country blame Obama and the Dems for the condition this country is in and voted for the very ones who all but destroyed her in the first place and who since then have only been sabotaging and undermining her . It is that simple . An electorate , a peoples , they cannot possibly be any dumber and more ignorant than that , and this country is in real trouble . How absolutely pathetic , the Republican supporting Americans are gloating and celebrating , not realizing that they have just put another torpedo into the side of their own ship ! Republican supporters , no joke , please look up these words , fascist and plutocracy , that's who and what you are asking for and who you are supporting when you vote Republican .I wish I was only joking .

Posted by: Koom | November 4, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Koom!!!

Find the return key, please.

You might have something interesting to say but who knows? No one is going to take the time to go through something as dense as your posts have been.

Your posts look like a Borg ship!!!!

I don't even know it you are left, right or moderate because I skip right over them.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

What a bad question.

How big is the mess that loosely comprises the democratic party is the proper way to ask the question.

I mean the chief executive has no original members of his all star staff.... which came together just 2 years ago.

And that's just the chief executive.

Disarray isn't quite the right word.

Posted by: docwhocuts | November 4, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"We could have had real health care reform based on the German model or some of the other models that work and we got something that would make Rube Goldberg proud. The Democrats could have passed real health care legislation and instead they played politics Sad."

Please provide a list of the 60 senators who would have supported such a bill.

Posted by: jimwalters1 | November 4, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey, docwhocuts, you undoubtably consider Ronald Reagan to be the epitome of a great president. He is, after all a man after your own heart, being mean spirited and all.

Here is a little something from Time magazine in July, 1982 - 18 months into Uncle Ron's 1st term:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,922955,00.html

The title, because you are probably too lazy to look is: "Reagan's Vanishing Advisers"

Gee, seems like this happens in EVERY presidency.

Nice job slinging the tea bag talking points, though.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's some truth. Look at the election results in Massachusetts. Despite the huge amounts of rightwing money poured into here and elsewhere, this REAL TEA PARTY state overwhelmingly voted for Dems. The Tea party rightwing Republicans didn't do so well in "elsewhere," either. The Revolution started here, and it has started again. Despite the Republican NO voters elected elsewhere, the YES AMERICA campaign has begun again here! And Elsewhere!

Posted by: dudh | November 4, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Given Obama's inability to acknowledge any responsibility for the "Shellacking" the Dems got, this must have been the "Immaculate Election."

Posted by: jack29 | November 4, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

jimwalters1 - The Democrats should have put forward the bill they wanted and MADE the republicans do an actual filibuster.

The Democrats need to stop playing the republican game. If they want to hold up government let them do it - and then explain their regressive positions to the voters.

A filibuster will excite the tea baggers but it will cost them independents.

It was the independents that turned this election, not the tea baggers.

It is high time the Democrats held the republicans feet to the fire.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"I have been surprised that as people list Obama's many mistakes in his first 2 years as President, his poor handling of the gulf oil spill is rarely mentioned.

I wonder why?

Is it that his other failures are deemed to be larger than his failure in handling the gulf oil spill or have people simply forgotten how inept his handling of the oil spill made him seem?

I find this very curious."

--RandyM

Personally, I hold BP and all their money-grabbing allies responsible first. They knew what they were--and weren't--doing, and then they proceeded to add to the immense damage already done by covering up the full amount of the on-going spill and promising to "fix everything."

Obama's mistake, if there was one, was giving them a chance to do the right thing. Of course, if he'd sprung into action sooner, his critics would be blasting him for more government spending, right?

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | November 4, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

O my goodness, the republicans are more extremist than ever! My God they want government to control spending, government to be less intrusive, demand that government be accountable, allow the market place to work, and for people to take more responsibility for their own lives. Why, those horrible fascist pigs; they are destroying this country.

Dionne, I hope you are the vanguard of how democrats are going to handle the next two years. The elections of 2010 will look like a picnic the night after the 2012 elections.

Posted by: jpfann | November 4, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Like the man said whenever the Democrats act to hand our health care over to the Department of Motor Vehicles the people grab 'em by the scruff of the neck and toss them into the ditch.

Their car is in there, trunk in the mud, headlights on aiming straight up ~ looks like Tremors IV!

Posted by: muawiyah | November 4, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I disagree that President Obama governed from the "right of Reagan." In the first place, he did not send bin laden stinger missiles or a cake to Iran. I thought he was very centrist. President Obama is, after all, a moderate. Just because McCain called him a liberal does not make him one. I also disagree that Democrats are trying to ape the republicans. I get very frustrated with this "there is no difference" BS and to hear it from a fellow Democrat only makes it worse. There are huge differences. We do not see people as throw away units, for instance.
I agree, however, that the Democrats were far too timid. I think that a lot more could have been done to defend the difficult votes that they took on tough issues. I think they ran NOT to lose instead of to win. What the party needs to do over the next 2 years is carefully expose the republican inconsistencies. You cannot be a "grass roots" or a "people's" movement if you are funded primarily by corporations the ultra rich, as they are. The party also needs to carefully explain how republicans have historically opposed and continue to oppose ALL of the benefits people take for granted - the Minimum Wage, the 40 hour work week, weekends, paid vacations, Medicare, retirement benefits, etc - that we fought hard to get and keep. Meanwhile, we are a moderate nation and the Democrats need to move to claim the middle. We do not need to move left as much as we need to make the republicans paint themselves into their right wing corner.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | November 4, 2010 2:58 PM

---------------------

We can see you've revealed your inner Liberal - the one that was rejected in the House and Senate this past Tuesday. Your post is way short on facts and way too full of propaganda. It's so boring too - and none of this bull worked in the last election except in blue-blue States.

Health care was a Liberal move, through and through, bent on creating a dependency that Democrats could milk for eons to come. No short-term economic benefit and left for future Congress's to sort out in terms of resourcing. This was not the move of a centrist.

Stupid Liberal Propaganda Point #1: that the GOP sees Americans as 'throw away units' is a self licking lollipop: only Liberals buy it. Independents don't buy this bull anymore. Hope it makes you feel better but it's just a dumb strategic message.

Stupid Liberal Propaganda Point #2: that corporations and gazillionaires primarily fund the GOP. This point gets the Liberals no where because A: it isn't true and B: the union payola to the Dems was the highest campaign contribution (beat out the Chamber of Commerce to GOP) in the past election. Like Bob Schiefer queried of Axelbutt: "Is that all you got?"

The only decent point you made was that the Dems need to stop being cowards and defend their manifesto. I'm not sure they're capable - they were utter wimps in this past election.

Democrats remain the party of the hand-out instead of the hand-up.

Posted by: pararanger22 | November 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

LET ME BE THE FIRST: In 2 years time most good Americans will seperate the truth from the lies / We cant go back to the do no work for pay as in the past GOP era / they kept a bad eye on things and its time to take this time to wake up and slam dunk the next election in favor of OBAMA / the tell the tale after the big game is not the way / say it first and then talk of your self after / all i wish if for the truth from Mr Dionne for the next 2 years and not back seat talk after the fact / You and I and Obama all make mistakes but most never print our mistakes so the public can see / so start printing some of the "good" stuff you and obama have done for this wonderful country and get it back to the high polish state

Posted by: njdcap1 | November 4, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but as a Democrat myself I have to ask: Isn't the question "Are Democrats in Disarray?" essentially tautological? In all my decades as a voter, I've never known them to be 'arrayed'.

Posted by: justasking3 | November 4, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are always in disarray. When they get the rare opportunity to work together for some objective they panic and go into disarray.

Posted by: James10 | November 4, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats took a hit because the economy is ailing, and unemployment has not rebounded quickly enough. Fact is, Obama did as much as any president could have done given the circumstances. We were in a deep deep recession, that started under Bush and was made far worse by Bush's policies (excessive spending and deep tax cuts). No economist expected this would turn around quickly, and unfortunately Obama is getting blamed. Plus, the GOP and right wing media have spent the last 2 years doing everything in their power to smear this president and slow down our recovery with their obstructionism. The notion that Republicans, the ones who got us into so much trouble, can or would have done any better is just blatantly absurd.

Posted by: ggwalt | November 4, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't think any of the six categories is right. The problem for the Democrats is that they did the right things but failed at two things: 1) to explain themselves; 2) to respond to the stupefying Big Lie technique of the Republicans. With all their faults, Democrats want to govern. Republicans used that against them. The Dems need PR agents who can promote their causes and attack their opponents. Do such agents exist? I doubt it. Democratic passivity will lead to their extinction sooner than Republican attacks.

Posted by: BobG5 | November 4, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

It is not so much the story of the Democrats being in disarray as it is a story of the Emperor having no clothes. Obama must be one of the worst politicians in American history. He was utterly unable to defend his outstanding record of achievement in the first two years. He failed to understand that politics, as played by the mutants currently pulling the strings over the GOP, is a Blood Sport. If they ever get the chance they had in 2008 again, the Democratic Party must aim to destroy the GOP and its main instruments--its hideous Supreme Court, which has mutated the Republic created by our forefathers into a heavily diseased plutocracy, and its dysfunctional Senate, an institution created for reasonable men and women who are no longer counted among the living. The Armies of the Night are on the active march in America, and their dream of a fascist future for this country may not be far away if good and righteous citizens do not cut the head off this snake as soon as possible.

Posted by: Seattle5 | November 4, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Any analysis must start with reality that Oboobma is just way out of his depth.

Posted by: thebump | November 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The Dems ARE in disarray. It doesn't have to be proven or even debated by whomever. The vast majority of them were running from the President, Pelosi and Reid as if the three of them were infected with a contagious disease.

The people lost their voice to the Democrat elite in the last two elections. They got it back in 2010. They occasionally need to be reminded of what it is they despise about liberalism. Thanks to the liberal elite for making that abundantly clear.

Posted by: theduke89 | November 4, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Democrats have always been in dissary because they do not have abiding principles. It is not opposition because it is not sifinificantly different from the republicans. It is substantantial due to the fact they must appeal to the same corporate scums for money who control both parties. Our foudning fathers were no fools. They represented and cleverly designed a system whereby the public would be slave to the economic elite forever. The right scums dominate every level of gvernment and all institution. This is what really is meant by checks and balance. If one par of the government gets little bit our of their control, they can wield other parts. The entire is a sham, it always has been.

Posted by: kevin1231 | November 4, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

TREMORS V!!!!! ~

~ The Democrats in the ditch look like TREMORS V!!!!!!

Posted by: muawiyah | November 4, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think it's swell. The GOP will either restore JOBS and PROSPERITY to average and typical Americans within the next two years or they will be voted out as fast as they were voted in. Despite all the HOGWASH their dear leaders are coming up with about it being a mandate to replace Obamacare with no care and deliver permanent tax cuts for the very rich, it wasn't and if they try to turn it into that, THE PEOPLE will be even angrier than they are now.

Posted by: SarahBB | November 4, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

When the Democrats let the far left take power in the Party and focus on bigger more intrusive Government they started their spiral downward. This is not a left of center Nation. The majority do not want Government to run our everyday lives. The majority do not think that the Left knows better. The majority do not want to be told by elites in the Government what to eat, drink, drive, and buy. The "brilliant" elite of the Democrat Party are nothing of the sort. Right now they are demonstrating that they aren't even very smart.

Posted by: bobbo2 | November 4, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I see one choice not on the list: It was both morally and politically wrong to pass a bill as major as restructuring 1/6th of the economy without getting the support of the vast majority of the electorate. The issue is not the President Obama and/or the Congressional Democrats were too ambitious, nor that they were too cautious. It is that they pressed ahead even though it became clear they had failed to sell the health care policy to the bulk of the public. If Scott Brown could ride opposition to the health care bill to a Senate seat in the most Democratic state in the country (and one that already has nearly universal health care), anyone should have been able to realize that it was necessary either to convince the public to support the bill in numbers that would force many Republicans to vote for it, or to find a different policy that had support.

Posted by: mikes2 | November 4, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

At one time, I felt that Dionne was acting deviously in his articles when he linked absurd scenarios into arguments invariably in favor of the position held by marxist, labor unionist, socialist or communist groups on virtually every topic he wrote about.

Having watched his commentary on TV several times, I now realize that he's more like a teenager who tells lies repeatedly, but knows that he's telling lies and that his audience knows he's telling lies. The point of the lies is to try to convince himself, not others.

But really. In this article, he enumerates for us the ONLY possible reasons for the election results, and how Democrats need to respond? Are you kidding me?

Here are some alternatives. First, Democrats might consider getting their Democratic Socialists out of the closet and out of leadership positions. Second, talk to Evan Bayh about the types of policies that most of this country actually want. Third, start telling the truth about what you are selling. Fourth, if voters tell you they don't want something, don't force it on them anyway. Fifth, when making the sale, don't lie to voters about how much it's going to cost, and hide years of bad news in fine print.

This sure ain't the Democratic Party I knew as a kid. I feel sorry for you guys, because at this point there does not appear to be much likelihood of much of a party being left after your leadership is done flying it into the ground.

Posted by: tacheronb | November 4, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Breaking: Republicans going to repackage the same tired free market nostrums as "the will of the people" and go right back to doing the same things they have been for the last 30 years. It'll turn out that what the vox populi spoke for Tuesday was to get out of the way of the orderly concentration of wealth at the top and to liberate the free market by letting insurance companies collect premiums but never pay out. Developing ...

Posted by: Cheopys1 | November 5, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

tachenrob, you sound a little sketchy on this whole "government" thing.

It's not the business of government to give people what they want, but to lead them into recognizing what they need.

What Americans want is to eat all the ice cream they want, watch lots of cartoons, and stay up way past their bedtime.

What they need is to eat their vegetables and save up for a rainy day.

You don't want leadership, you want a whole day of recess.

Good luck guys, really, in barely over a week I leave this free market sh*thole forever. Bye!

Posted by: Cheopys1 | November 5, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

None of this matters in the long run. We need a government that serves all Americans, from the most conservative to the most liberal.

How do we structure our laws and institutions that allow us to all live peacefully side by side, instead of pursuing agendas that are aimed at eliminating the other?

When a political party offers that -- when our government achieves that -- we will finally have an America that is worthy of the title, "leader of the free world."

Posted by: egc52556 | November 5, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company